February 15, 2017
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Houston Man Sentenced For East Texas Drug Trafficking Violations
BEAUMONT, Texas - John Nealy Holt, 44, of Houston, was sentenced to 174 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston jointly announced the sentencing action today.
Holt previously pleaded guilty on Aug. 5, 2016, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, methamphetamine in the Eastern District of Texas.
On Mar. 5, 2015, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging 24 individuals with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and using facilities of interstate commerce to facilitate the interstate distribution of illegal narcotics. The defendants were responsible for trafficking methamphetamine to customers across the United States, including in the Eastern District of Texas.
Over the span of the conspiracy, this drug ring obtained over 150 kilograms of methamphetamine from numerous Mexican sources of supply. The drug was subsequently redistributed in Houston, Port Arthur, Texas, Southwest Louisiana, and other areas across the United States.
During the course of the investigation, officers recovered numerous stolen automobiles and other valuable property, which investigators allege was acquired by members of the drug trafficking ring in exchange for methamphetamine.
This case is the result of an extensive four-and-a-half-year joint investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
During the course of this operation, agents successfully arrested over 38 individuals and have seized multi-kilogram quantities of methamphetamine, kilogram quantities of drug-laced hallucinogen “gummy” candies, 22 firearms, over 400 lbs. of ammunition, and recovered 17 stolen automobiles, 5 stolen motorcycles, 2 stolen trailers, and hundreds of antiques.
Holt was the final defendant to be sentenced as a result of this investigation. The other defendants were sentenced to federal prison as follows:
1. Leslie Dianne Baron, 32, of Houston, 168 months;
2. Christopher Dean Inman, 41, of Houston, 121 months;
3. Leslie Lee Inman, 37, of Houston, 168 months;
4. Eric Lazaro Castaneda, 38, of Houston, 87 months;
5. Carlos Eduvijis Rosales, 38, of Houston, 151 months;
6. Travis Alejandro Lyon, 34, of Houston, 60 months;
7. Gilbert Gomez, 37, of Baytown, Texas, 292 months;
8. Joshua Lee Lanman, 38, of Jersey Village, Texas, 60 months;
9. Albert Cardenas, Jr., 23, of Houston, 87 months;
10. Burton Paul Dupuy, 44, of Shreveport, La., 24 months;
11. Amado Tobar, 44, of Dallas, 137 months;
12. Joseph Louis Henning, 58, of Houston, 200 months;
13. Kenneth Sheldrick, 37, of Houston, 135 months;
14. Luis Fernando Garcia, 23, of Port Arthur, Texas, 87 months;
15. Gerardo Chavez, 38, of Nederland, Texas, 121 months;
16. Alex Trejo, 28, of Lake Elsinore, Calif., 80 months;
17. Michael Broughton, 39, of Port Arthur, Texas, 63 months;
18. Shawn Key, 37, of New Caney, Texas, 188 months
19. Taber Price, 39, of Humble, Texas, 151 months;
20. Britanny Danielle Beckham, 31, of Hearne, Texas, 33 months;
21. Ricardo Cortes Lozano, 44, of Baytown, Texas, 12 months;
22. Pablo Hernandez, 39, of Houston, 87 months; and
23. Thurman Clevenger, 51, of Houston, 12 months.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Beaumont Resident Office, the Port Arthur Police Department, and the Houston Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul A. Hable and Michelle S. Englade.